Endangered Languages Added to Duolingo in 2023



Mholo! That means hello in Xhosa, a new language being added to the language learning app Duolingo. Xhosa, along with five other endangered languages including Zulu, Maori, and Haitian Creole, are the newest languages to hit the app in an effort to save those languages from extinction. According to a survey conducted by the app two years ago, most users studied endangered languages to learn about and preserve the language’s culture or for familial reasons. Since its creation in 2011, Duolingo has added seven endangered language courses that have been successful in educating more and more people about the words and dialect. These courses have significantly boosted the number of new speakers of the language.

Let’s learn some basic facts about Duolingo’s new endangered languages!

Zulu is a Southern Bantu language of the Nguni branch spoken in the southern part of Africa. It is most widely spoken by the Zulu people, with 12 million worldwide speakers. Xhosa is a Nguni language, and it is the official language of both Zimbabwe and South Africa. Maori is both a tribe and a language. The Maori people speak the Maori language, also known as te reo. Its country of origin is the north island of New Zealand. The addition of Haitian Creole as a language learning course option has increased its total number of speakers worldwide. The language is based on French, due to the communication between enslaved Haitian people and their French masters in the 1700s.

So, if you’ve ever wanted to learn a new language, especially one that’s spoken by smaller populations throughout the world, this just may be your sign.